Ross Tedder, 16, a junior at Winchester Thurston School, has a very comprehensive scope of interests and accomplishments to his credit.
Among other things, Tedder was the coordinator and overseer of a TEDxYouth talk in Squirrel Hill. Organizers had to form a 501(c)(3) nonprofit to secure funds for the talk. The theme for the event was “Ability”—that everyone should understand their capacity to achieve no matter their circumstance.
Notable local speakers were Emmai Alaquiva, filmmaker and CEO of Ya Momz House Studios, and creator of Hip-Hop on L.O.C.K.; Pittsburgh rapper Jasiri X, founder of 1Hood Media Academy; and Gregg Behr, executive director of the Grable Foundation, to name just a few. This successful effort showed qualities in Ross that garnered him the respect of his peers and instructors at Winchester Thurston.
Tedder entered Winchester Thurston in ninth grade and admits that his first year was extremely difficult. With the help and support of the staff at Winchester Thurston, Tedder was able to turn it around and has been maintaining a high level of academic achievement ever since.
“The leap from the McKeesport School District to the rigorous requirements of WT created quite a challenge,” he says. “Experiencing these struggles was crushing to me. I was not used to failure of any type, and the work I was doing represented failure.”